Travel light when entering the courthouse

By Vicki Hyatt | Mar 17, 2017

Waynesville — Those entering county buildings in downtown Waynesville should think twice before approaching the checkpoints with large bags or backpacks.

Large signs recently placed in both the Historic Haywood Courthouse and the Justice Center now warn visitors that not only are firearms or weapons prohibited, but so are large purses, backpacks and book bags.

Except for one item listed on the sign, the rules have long been in place at the check points to both buildings where visitors must pass through a metal detector to enter, said Lindsay Regner. spokesperson for the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office.

The newest item prohibited, documents larger than 15 inches by 20 inches, was added to the list before a town hall meeting scheduled by Rep. Mike Clampitt.

“We anticipated an influx of people with signs, and for safety purposes decided there should be no stiff cardboard signs that could poke anyone,” Regner said.

The types and sizes of bags allowed inside the buildings are at the discretion of the deputy.

“If the bag is too large, the person entering the building will not be permitted to leave the bag at the security check,” Regner said, citing liability purposes. “When considering the heavy foot traffic that comes through the courthouses, it’s important courthouse security deputies are as thorough as possible with safety measures.”